It claims to be representing an Israeli company, Flash Network, which is apparently responsible for the code injection software...It claims that by merely revealing to the public that Airtel was doing these injections, he had engaged in criminal copyright infringement under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
So I got cease and desist letter for exposing JS injection by big a telco for publishing JS code & screenshots. I will probably remove it :(
— Thejesh GN (@thej) June 8, 2015
The legal team interpreted India's Information Technology Act to suggest that showing a company's code under any circumstances is a violation of intellectual property. As TechDirt pointed out, this interpretation means that anyone who pulls up code and shows it to someone else is in violation of the law.
But that's not all: Flash went international on its intimidation conquest, using a US Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to coerce GitHub into taking down the code.
Airtel is already loathed by Indian net neutrality supporters for its attempts to give certain companies preferential treatment, and now Indian privacy activists are pissed. Hopefully this'll backfire and draw attention to the ways companies use scare tactics to threaten whistleblowers and researchers.
.@airtelnews Your partner/3rd party used your network or you willingly tampered/intercepted customer data, either way you're at fault here.
— Niranjan Patil (@njnrn) June 9, 2015
For an Israeli co. to sue Indian users for merely reporting an unethical (and possibly illegal) practice is intimidation.
— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) June 9, 2015
Picture: Indian net neutrality protests from AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi